Mr. Huizenga, who chairs the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, sent letters Wednesday to BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, J.P. Morgan Chase, T. Rowe Price, Prudential, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, Capital Group Companies and the Bank of New York Mellon.
In each letter, Mr. Huizenga asks the firm to answer several questions, including "How does your firm ensure that its shareholder voting decisions align with maximizing investor returns?" and "What specific metrics or indicators does your firm use to measure the financial impact of ESG initiatives in relation to investor returns?"
The letters also ask each firm to list all the proxy advisory firms they interact with, how often they vote in line with each firms' recommendations, and how they evaluate such recommendations. Mr. Huizenga requests the firms provide responses by August 1.
In December, Republican staff on the Senate Banking Committee released a report going after BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street for what they said is "enormous influence" over shareholder meetings, criticizing what they called the advancement of "liberal social goals known as ESG and DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion)."
On Friday, Mr. Huizenga introduced a bill that "requires investment advisers to vote proxies in accordance with issuer voting instructions for covered securities held by passive index funds," the news release states. The bill offers an exception for when voting instructions of a shareholder are known or state otherwise.
Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee have dedicated a series of hearings this month to debating ESG-related topics, including two last week that examined the merits of shareholder proposals and influence of proxy advisory firms.